College Spotlight – Bowdoin College

College Expert at the Five Colleges Program

Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport
May 18, 2015

Bowdoin College

In 1906, William DeWitt Hyde, President of Bowdoin College, penned “The Offer of the College.” Even today, it remains a guiding principle of the Bowdoin experience:

To be at home in all lands and all ages;
To count Nature a familiar acquaintance,
And Art an intimate friend;
To gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work
And the criticism of your own;
To carry the keys of the world’s library in your pocket,
And feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
To make hosts of friends…
Who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
To lose yourself in generous enthusiasms
And cooperate with others for common ends –
This is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.

Bowdoin is located in picturesque Brunswick, Maine – a mere two miles from the coast, a half-hour from the Portland International Jetport, and 2-1/2 hours north of Boston. A train station is on campus. Bowdoin students are expected to be committed to the concept of the “common good,” to be able to visualize a connection between themselves and a higher worldly purpose. To assist with this mission is the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, which has developed partnerships with over 100 organizations in the surrounding Brunswick area.

Enthusiastic and creative problem solving is a goal of the Bowdoin academic experience. The 500 or so students per graduating class have the option to choose single or double majors, interdisciplinary majors, coordinate majors, or self-designed majors. Every student, however, is required to participate in the first-year seminars program and meet a handful of distribution requirements.

Outside the classroom, Bowdoin is a NCAA Division III school and home to 31 varsity teams, including sailing for both men and women. Student athletes are part of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The Outing Club is 300 members strong and offers over 100 excursions per year – sea kayaking, service and ecology, and hiking, to name just a few. To replenish their energy supply after a day in the outdoors, Bowdoin students are fortunate to have access to a food plan that is consistently placed in the top five in numerous college rankings. It wouldn’t be quintessential Maine and Bowdoin without a lobster bake!

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